With the 2015 Budget announcement just behind us, and the General Election looming large on the horizon, talk of the economy and finance is everywhere right now, prompting many of us to question how any changes may impact our own personal finances, and perhaps re-consider some of our spending habits.
Economics may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about beauty, but when it comes to making money the UK beauty industry is a major player. With an estimated value of £17 billion in 2014, employing more than 1 million people and forecast to grow by 16% by 2016 the beauty business is showing no signs of slowing down. So, as individual consumers how does our beauty spending stack up?
Well, the figures are no less impressive; in 2014 online hair and beauty retailer Hairtrade.com conducted research on 640 women revealing that, on average, women’s make-up bags contain sixteen items, adding up to a total value of £231.
Research into longer term spending found that over a lifetime British women spend approximately £40,000 on cutting, colouring and styling services at the hairdressers, and an eye watering £100,000 on cosmetics.
With those startling statistics in mind it makes sense for us to save money where we can, but as pampering makes us feel good, and we all deserve a treat I’m not suggesting compromising on product quality or sacrificing indulgences, but instead taking a more savvy approach to how we choose and use our products, to make the most of our beauty budgets.
To help here are my top 5 thrifty beauty tips:
Learn about ingredients to compare products and snare bargains – It may involve spending a little more time in the beauty aisles reading labels, but a bit of product knowledge goes a long way. Many products contain very similar ingredients, so if you know what you’re looking for you can make sizeable savings choosing a lower priced product over a premium brand that does the same job. Also, consider having a make-up lesson to learn which make-up products and colours work best for you, to avoid potentially costly mistakes. Always get colour matched when choosing foundation as skin tone changes throughout the year, and if you’re unsure about a product ask if you can get a sample to try.
Make use of multi-taskers – If you can get more than one use from a product it immediately makes it better value for money. Look out for oils that can be used on both skin and hair, lip and cheek stains, or eyeshadow that doubles up as brow powder.
Protect your products – All cosmetic products have a shelf life, and it can be unsafe to use them beyond that date, but to ensure that you get the best results from them, for as long as possible, avoid leaving the lids off for any longer than is necessary, as some ingredients react to oxygen causing them to breakdown and become ineffective. Exposure to heat or sunlight can also damage products so don’t store them on the bathroom windowsill.
Use the right amount of product – Many of us use way too much product and could save money simply by using the correct amount and avoiding waste. Not sure how much to use? Here’s a rough guide: Eye cream = a grain of rice (per eye), Cleanser = pea, Face moisturiser = 5p piece Shampoo and conditioner = 10p or 50p piece depending on hair length Body lotion = a shot glass.
Use every last drop – Make sure your product is really finished before you throw it away. There can be a surprising amount of product left in a tube that appears to be empty if you cut in in half for the last use. Also, resist the temptation to buy new products before completely using up old ones.
Give these tips a try to get the most from your products and your beauty budget – looking good doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny!
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